Joseph D. McPherson

It should never be forgotten that the third person of the triune God is involved in the whole scheme of man's salvation. The following references from John Fletcher's writings remind us that a miraculous and powerful work of the Holy Ghost is involved in the new birth of every penitent who believes wholeheartedly in Christ Jesus. Notice that each passage or paragraph below is taken from different parts of Fletcher's written works but continue the same theme.

"And O! what will thy believing, enlarged heart experience 'in that day of God's power,' and thy spiritual birth! Christ, 'the true light of the world, the eternal life of men, coming suddenly to his temple,' and filling it with the light of his countenance, and the power of his resurrection! Christ 'shedding abroad in thy' ravished 'soul, the love of thy heavenly Father,' thy bitterest enemies, and all mankind! In a word, 'the Holy Ghost given unto thee!' Or, 'Christ dwelling in thy heart by faith,'" John 1:4; 1 John 5:12; Romans 8:15; 5:5; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 1:13; 3:17 [Works, 3:335].

"But the immediate worker of regeneration is the Spirit of God, which our blessed Lord obtained for us by the merits of his death. In this respect true Christians are said by Christ to be born of the Spirit; and St. Paul calls regeneration 'the renewing of the Holy Ghost'" [Works, 4:136].

"Yes, you shall be baptized by the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins, and justified freely by faith" [Works, 4:115].

"That they [the 120 at Pentecost and Cornelius together with his household] should be baptized with the Holy Ghost and spiritual fire, was not extraordinary, since it is the common blessing which can alone make a man a Christian, or confirm him in the faith" [Works, 4:287].

"[The three thousand on the day of Pentecost] received the gift of the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to manifest the Son" [Works, 4:305].

"Christ receiveth sinners; he undertaketh their whole concern; he giveth not only repentance, but remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He creates them anew: his love first makes the bride, and then he delights in her" [Works, 4:258].

The Apostle Paul reminds us that "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13). Both early Methodists and early Wesleyan Methodists were convinced that just as it took a great work of God's Spirit to cleanse the soul from all inbred sin in entire sanctification, so also must the Holy Ghost's mighty power be the means of bringing a dead soul to life in the new birth. They saw in the New Testament a holistic view of the Holy Ghost's work in the human heart, beginning with justification and regeneration and continuing unto entire sanctification. Further increases in holiness were then to be sought throughout life as one lived in the Spirit. Such is God's unique work of salvation in this Holy Ghost dispensation.